The increasing diversity in US classrooms provides teachers and students the opportunity to celebrate all language learners as agents of change. We celebrate learners’ many languages and cultures and encourage learner agency, both within and outside the classroom. This year’s TALFL Conference aims to provide a platform for an exchange of views and the sharing of experiences on teaching practices that promote learner agency. These can be examined in a wide range of areas of language learning, including (though not limited to) teaching methodology, learner and teacher beliefs, materials development, assessment, and technology.
Yasuko Kanno, Ph.D.
Yasuko Kanno is Associate Professor and Director of Language Education in the School of Education at Boston University. She works with graduate students who are training to become ESL teachers in public schools in Massachusetts. Recipient of the 2015 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research, Kanno is interested in English language learners’ access to postsecondary education and how K-12 public schools shape ELs’ postsecondary choices. She is also a co-editor of the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.
Not all high school students go to college. Yet, because there is currently such a dominant emphasis on “college for all,” preparing non-college-bound students for adulthood has received short shrift. The risk of being neglected is particularly high for those English learners who are overage, SIFEs (students with interrupted formal education) education, long-term ELs, or generally low-achieving. In this presentation, through in-depth case studies of two Latino EL students who were low-achieving and chronically absent, I demonstrate that even so-called “at risk” students have strengths and dreams if we care to look and argue for validating the aspirations of those students who would rather pursue career and technical education (CTE) and start working as soon as possible than going to college.